Monday, February 4, 2008

Foxy Huntress - best of both worlds?

On Saturday, I found the beautiful feather-based camo pattern of Feather Flage - pretty, but not made for women. Then I found SHE Safari - a feminine take on traditional upland and big game hunting clothing.

And just when I was about ready to call it quits for the day Sunday, I saw it: gorgeous feather-based camo patterns on women's hunting clothing. I had found Foxy Huntress!

I had heard of Foxy Huntress before and hadn't given it much thought because I'm not too worried about being foxy out in the field - I just want to be comfortable. (And personally, if I had a women's hunting clothing company, I'd call it something obnoxious, like "Chicks with Guns." But the Foxy Huntress line is beautiful, and when I talked to owner Shelah Zmigrosky, I found out one of the reasons why: Italian fabrics.

Ooooooh. If there's two things the Italians do well, it's shotguns and couture. This could be a match made in heaven.

Just like Feather Flage, Foxy's camo pattern looks like it will work well while looking beautiful. And because the clothing is made of great fabrics and designed nicely for a woman, I could wear this to work and no one would know I was in my hunting clothes. In fact, Shelah said, she had to do that once herself - had to go to a business meeting and didn't have time to change, and she said she got loads of compliments.

As SHE Safari does, Foxy Huntress also produces clothes for the non-hunting women who like to look good when they go on safari with their husbands. Gotta love her take on leopard skin in these pants.

But Shelah has the huntress in mind in her gear designed for the field. The pants pictured above include a Velcro-latch crotch (with a soft lining, of course) so the wearer can take care of business out in the field without baring all.

That's what I'm talking about! Men have had front openings in their boxers and briefs for eternity, but it takes women hunting apparel designers to come up with something for us. It's about damn time.

One thing worth noting: Foxy Huntress is definitely on the higher end of the price scale, particularly compared with SHE Safari - many items list at more than $100.

Shelah doesn't want to go cheap, either. "Quality is my No. 1 thing," she said. "I don't want it to look homemade. I want clothes that look like they come from a couture shop."

But she told me on Sunday that she is lowering prices. Always music to shoppers' ears.

Aside from the beautiful clothing, the other great thing about Shelah's booth at the SHOT Show was that she had a dressing room. Ding ding ding ding ding! Like many women, I have to try things on to know if they're cut for me. As Sir Mix-A-Lot says, baby got back! (Translation: Padunkadunk! Booty!) Even if you have the best return policy in the world, I don't like buying clothes online and getting all excited about it if I think I might be disappointed.

So I dived into that dressing room and started trying things on, and walked out with a great pair of pants that convert to shorts and a hunting shirt, both in the green feather pattern. Spring turkey hunting is coming up, and that is the tiny window in which green camo is actually useful in California, so I can't wait to check it out.

The other camo color I saw at Shelah's booth was absolutely gorgeous, but I'm not sure where the rusts would fit in in my landscape. They'd look fantastic in a state where the indigenous forest breaks out into glorious fall colors, but that ain't California.

Now, if I can just convince her to come out with something in the gold that prevails on Califoania hillsides throughout most of the time I'll be hunting wild boar... And yes, she has some traditional safari colors. But I love that feather look.

Shelah Zmigrosky

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


The Hunter's Wife said...

Those clothes are so cool even though I don't hunt.

HELLEK said...

Molto bellisima!

Did you buy anything? I want to see it in real life.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Yup, HW, that's what I like about them. A little more subtle than ... blaze.

And yes, Hellen, you'll see me wearing this. I'll probably wear some of it to school on Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Very cool stuff. You've got to love all the different companies that are beginning to make hunting apparel for women. I think that's great.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Kristine, we are really lucky to have the three I've written about from the SHOT Show (and I really hope I didn't miss any, but it's not humanly possible to see everything there).

Why are we lucky? Because 1) there are very few of us and 2) as I've written before, women hunters don't spend as much money on gear as men do. I saw it in the stats from US Fish & Wildlife last year, and I heard it from the folks at Columbia, who actually made an extensive line of women's hunting apparel but had to discontinue it because it wasn't selling.

We've got to be willing to buy it if we want companies to make it and stores to stock it.

Anonymous said...

You're definitely right about that Holly. Even if you don't actively hunt, a lot of the stuff is cute enough to wear as regular clothing.